When the Rams made Greg Robinson the second overall pick in the draft, it was assumed he’d play left tackle. Only days later, G.M. Les Snead explained that Robinson may play guard.
Since then, it’s become more clear that Robinson will indeed play guard as a rookie. It’s also becoming clear that he’s having a hard time with the transition.
“It’s frustrating that I’m not up to pace right now because the playbook is more intense and things are changing but once I get back to where I’m comfortable, things will calm down and I can be myself out there,” Robinson said recently, via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. “I didn’t know what to expect, honestly. I put a lot of pressure on myself because I like to challenge myself. It’s something I want to do and just stand out to the coaches and let them be comfortable with their choice.”
While tackle is regarded as the more difficult position, Robinson is learning that guard has its own challenges.
“It’s just everything happens faster inside,” Robinson said. “Outside you have a little more time to kick. The guys are faster but these guys are just quick and trained to rush the passer. It’s just about keeping my feet working and knowing when to pull. Right now it’s a lot of thinking going on, it causes me to move a little slower. Once I get up to speed, I can move with the snap count and stuff like that.”
Robinson’s struggles aren’t a complete surprise to league insiders who had their doubts about Robinson’s ability to be dominant at the next level. Robinson’s reference to the intensity of the playbook won’t surprise skeptics, either, given that Robinson dealt with a limited range of plays and protections at Auburn. It makes the Rams’ risk even bigger, especially since they’ve moved Robinson to a position that typically doesn’t demand a top-five draft pedigree.
There’s still a long way to go until Robinson faces NFL-caliber talent in a game that counts. Until then, the best preparation may come from facing the team’s other first-round pick — defensive tackle Aaron Donald.